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patrickjford wrote:That appears crazy to me. Why in the world would you want to invest all that money on that equipment when oil (and gasoline) supplies are going to become increasingly scarce and relatively soon?
BabyPeanut wrote:We seem to have a lot of privately owned and labled gas stations around here.
Coolman wrote:I don't know about the rest of you folks, but I have noticed here in Phoenix Arizona gas stations has been shutting down one after another. I ride my bike past this one gas station on my way to work and one day it was randomly shut down and had a fence around it. Same goes for many other gas station. Do you folks see this around were you live and how do you think if anyway relates to Peak Oil.
Posted 8/21/2003 8:58 PM Updated 8/22/2003 12:49 PM
Phoenix drivers overheat as city gas gauge reads 'E'
By Max Jarman, The Arizona Republic
PHOENIX â€” In metropolitan Phoenix â€” an area of 3.3 million residents, with a registered vehicle for every 1.5 of them â€” people have learned that following a gasoline truck may be their best shot at filling their own tanks.
It is one of the many tactics employed by desperate drivers caught in a messy gasoline crisis for the past two weeks.
The rupture of one of the two pipelines that deliver gasoline to Phoenix has closed up to 70% of the area's 1,000 gas stations. Pump prices have soared to well over $2 a gallon for regular unleaded; some stations are charging up to $4.
Some drivers have cruised streets in the wee hours searching for open stations. During the day, they have waited in lines half a mile long as their fuel gauges tipped towards empty.
"Yesterday, I didn't have enough gas to get to work," said Elissa Fletcher of Phoenix, who was filling her car at a Chevron station at 5 a.m. earlier this week. "I was going around from station to station, and I ran out of gas looking for gas. I didn't get to work, and I had to have someone else pick up my child."
The shortage began to relax on Wednesday and Thursday as state and industry officials scrambled to find more tankers to deliver fuel.
Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano got the Environmental Protection Agency to temporarily lift air-quality rules that require the use of clean-burning oxygenated gasoline. That allowed supplies from other areas to be trucked into Phoenix. Napolitano also made National Guard tankers available to haul gasoline, and she asked the U.S. Department of Transportation to allow tanker drivers to work longer hours.
But there was still a lot of uncertainty as the pipeline's owner, Kinder Morgan Energy Partners of Houston, worked to repair the rupture. The company said it hoped to restore the flow of gasoline by Sunday night.
It could be weeks before things are back to normal. In the meantime, consumers in the nation's 14th-largest metro area are angry â€” at having their lives disrupted, at having their jobs and businesses skewed, and at having to pay a premium to drive.
"I can't afford this," said Rebecca David, a senior citizen who lives on Social Security and stays in federally subsidized housing. David recently pumped $5 worth of gas â€” at more than $2 a gallon â€” into her car, then stopped because "it's all I can afford." AAA Arizona said the average price of regular gas in Phoenix was $1.93 a gallon on Wednesday. That's up 40 cents a gallon since the pipeline closed Aug. 8.
Low-income households and seniors on fixed incomes have been particularly hard hit by the shortage. But with 67% of the workforce commuting alone in their cars for an average of 24.3 minutes, almost everyone is feeling the impact.
The situation has led to bizarre scenes: people arguing with gas station owners who are charging high prices; clerks selling coffee to drivers waiting in line; and a man on the street hawking 2-gallon gas containers for use in emergencies.
Tanker drivers have suddenly become heroes as they pull into gas stations to replenish supplies. "As soon as I get off the freeway, I have a trail of cars following me to the next gas station," said Chevron driver Rick Groce.
Reports of gas thefts are increasing, and Phoenix police have suggested that car owners buy locking gas caps.
Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard is monitoring the high prices. But because Arizona has no laws against price-gouging, he is restricted to looking for evidence of collusion or price fixing. "It's not illegal to raise prices," he said.
The governor has taken her share of criticism over the crisis. Last week, when shortages of premium and midgrade gas began to appear, Napolitano assured the public that the shortages would continue on only a spot basis. She left the state for a conference, but hurried back Sunday when the situation turned ugly. Stations were closing, and regular gas was hard to find.
On Monday, she urged residents to "be cool." She suggested with industry officials that the fault lies with panicky drivers topping off their tanks.
Critics say Napolitano should have taken action earlier. Paul Latham, head of gasoline sales for Costco stores nationwide, said evidence of the pending crisis was apparent Aug. 9, the day after the pipeline was shut down. He said state officials have been in denial about the problem.
Arizona has no refineries; all of the Phoenix area's gas is delivered through two pipelines owned by Kinder Morgan: A 20-inch line from Los Angeles supplies about 70% of the market, and the broken 8-inch line from El Paso supplies the rest.
The setup makes the area vulnerable to refinery outages and the energy policies of other states. In March, the price of regular gas soared past $2 because of refinery outages. There also is mounting pressure in California for companies to sell gas in-state rather than export it.
Meanwhile, long lines, temperatures above 100 degrees and closed gas pumps wrapped in yellow tape are taking a toll on people's moods in Phoenix.
One man recently lost his temper at a station charging $3.79 for regular gas and began yelling: "I didn't fight for this. I didn't spend two years in 'Nam for this."
The state Transportation Department estimates that traffic is down as much as 15%, while bus ridership is up markedly.
Napolitano has promised residents that she'll do whatever it takes to make sure this never happens again. She said she'll form a task force to study solutions that range from building refineries and more pipelines in the state to improving storage and distribution networks.
For now, "you can't change it. Just adjust and be positive," said Danny Balanon, 42, of the Phoenix suburb of Chandler.
The Arizona Republic is a newspaper owned by Gannett.
Posted on Mon, Feb. 07, 2005 Bay Area prices at pump flip-flop
BIG-OIL STATIONS SELL GAS FOR LESS THAN DISCOUNTS AS SUPPLIES TIGHTEN UP
By Gary Richards, Mercury News:
Bay Area gas prices have turned topsy-turvy, with discount station prices surprisingly higher than the usually more expensive big-oil stores such as Chevron and Shell.
A U.S. station listed self-serve unleaded for $1.97 a gallon on De Anza Boulevard in Cupertino on Saturday, a dime more than a Chevron station a few blocks away. And the Olympian station along El Camino Real in San Mateo listed $1.95 a gallon, while the same gas was going for $1.85 at the Shell in Palo Alto near the Stanford University football stadium.
From San Jose to the Peninsula to the East Bay, what was cheap is no more.
``I hit the Rotten Robbie near my home, and gas costs eight, nine cents more a gallon than at the 76 station down the street,'' said Lloyd Burns, a retired engineer, speaking of prices at stations along Meridian Avenue near Foxworthy Avenue in San Jose. ``It's almost always the other way around, so this seems strange. What's up?''
To begin with, drivers should realize that stations such as Rotten Robbie, Olympian and Gas & Shop buy excess gas produced by major refineries such as Shell, Chevron, Arco and Valero -- fuel left over after they supply their own gas stations.
But supply is tightening, meaning less gas is available on the wholesale market -- where mom-and-pop stations shop for the gas they sell. Since Christmas, those wholesale prices have soared nearly 30 cents.``We absorbed the increases as long as we could, but at this point we have no choice but to raise them,'' said Jerry Cummings of Rotten Robbie. ``Supply is tight.''
When supplies of gasoline dwindle, the market tightens for all stations, but especially for independents. Branded stations have contracts that ensure they get supplies first, while independent dealers have to compete for gasoline that's left.
``When there's a glut of fuel, the chain stations are often locked into higher prices and you can save by filling up at an independent station,'' said Sean Comey, a spokesman for AAA of Northern California. ``This type of situation shows why it's important to be a savvy consumer. The station that had the best deal the last time you filled up could be one of the most expensive the next time your tank is empty and vice versa.''
Pump prices have been inching higher, with self-serve unleaded going for $2.07 a gallon on average in California, up seven cents over the average of last month. The South Bay average is $1.94, a penny higher than that of four weeks ago, according to the state auto association. San Francisco, at $2.05 a gallon, no longer has the highest prices in the state; that distinction goes to Santa Barbara at $2.22.
One reason for shrinking supply is major refiners shifting production to California's special summer blend of gas. Stock of reformulated gas dropped more than 11 percent, and production fell nearly 6 percent across the state the week ending Jan. 28, the first noticeable declines this year.
Crude oil prices are also on the rise from a three-week low, reaching $47 a barrel Friday. Energy experts believe the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries will cut production to prevent prices from falling more. That's a warning for consumers such as Danny Ramirez, who was filling his Ford Focus Saturday at the U.S. station on De Anza Boulevard in Cupertino. Price: $1.99 a gallon.
It was $1.93 at the Chevron across the street. ``No way,'' the 23-year-old San Jose fast-food worker said. ``It's always cheaper here.'' Not this day. Contact Gary Richards at mrroadshow-at-mercurynews. com or (408) 920-5335.
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